What makes a will valid and enforceable in Pennsylvania?

two people looking at a will

When planning for the future, you may want to ensure your loved ones are cared for. However, if you want to guarantee financial security, you must assure your will is valid and enforceable. If you are worried about the validity of your will, PA wills, trusts & estates attorneys can help you navigate any issues you may have with your estate plan. Keep reading to learn more about how to proceed with this process.

What can I do to ensure your will is valid and enforceable?

The most important thing you can do to ensure your will is valid and enforceable is to enlist the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of assuming that they can download a form and create a will easily. This is not the case, as this is a complicated legal matter. If you fail to enlist the help of an attorney, you run the risk of your will being deemed invalid.

Another thing you must consider when creating a last will and testament is that you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Similarly, in Pennsylvania, you must make your will via a hard copy. This means it cannot be a digital, audio, or video will, as the state has not adopted electronic wills as valid.

A will also requires the signature of two witnesses in Pennsylvania, who must sign the will in front of the testator.

What happens if a will is deemed invalid?

If your will is deemed invalid, your estate will be subjected to Pennsylvania’s intestacy laws. Essentially, when someone passes away without a will or one deemed unenforceable by the courts, the state will step in to distribute the assets according to the law.

Instead of your estate being distributed according to your wishes, the state distributes assets according to your living relatives. For example, if you pass with children but no spouse, your children inherit everything, whereas if you have a spouse but no children, your spouse receives everything. Ensuring your will is valid guarantees your wishes will be followed, and the assets will go to the beneficiaries you intended.

As previously mentioned, if you are getting ready to start the estate plan, you must enlist the help of an attorney. Unfortunately, without a lawyer, it’s easy to make a mistake, as there are many different facets that go into this process. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of this process.

If you are ready to start the estate planning process, Friedman Schuman is here to help. Our dedicated legal team has the experience you need to help make sure your will is distributed according to your wishes. Contact our offices today to learn more about how we can help you through this process.

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